In 2009 I left my abusive husband after he went off for a weekend of hunting. After I settled in my new apartment and the weeks passed, every now and then I would feel overwhelmed with what the future held.
So while I held my 2yo in my arms, we would gently dance around the living room to this song. My son would giggle as I bounced and dipped his tiny baby body, and it would help remind me that I did the right thing – no matter what my toxic parents said – I saved both my son and myself from a life of abuse.
This is the song I would play for my son. So when times are stressed and I get a little worried, I still play this song.
Whether you’re female or male, remember you are not alone. Find your own theme song and hold it tight.
Something in a movie the other night reminded me of how emotionally strong women are. My experience is that men do not want to hurt our feelings – the best break ups I’ve ever had involved the men who had the balls to say something. Of course I did not want to hear it – but I was so impressed with the respect they gave me to calmly state how they were feeling without trying to make a dramatic scene. It’s to those men that I have the utmost respect. Because that, my friends, is strength.
Years ago my husband and I were seeing a marriage counselor. After one particularly grueling session, my husband stormed out and left the therapist and me to finish the hour alone. When the session ended and I started to make my way to the door, she stopped me. “I don’t usually do this,” she said, “but in your case I’m making an exception: I don’t think you are safe living with him and I suggest you get out as soon as you can.”
I already knew that. Although he wasn’t an avid jail-attendee, my husband was criminally-savvy enough to not put his hands on me, but typically chest-bumped or threw household items instead. Several times I would shield myself with a laptop while running out the front door of our apartment.
At one point, his own friend said, ”You know he’s an alcoholic, right?”
I planned and executed the escape with the help of my closest friends, both packing and moving possessions in what I called an “a’ la Sleeping With the Enemy style,” – and later, the ultimate result was nicknamed “The Evacuation.”
”You’re the strongest person I know,” a friend said.
”Therapy,” I replied, ”And I’ll be damned before I let an abusive alcoholic who can’t even control his own life to turn my baby and me into a stereotypical cinematic drama. I refuse to lay down and play victim!”
I did it with friends. Not one family member helped. I was in shock. Depressed. Saddened. Angry. And scared. But I did it. And I’m glad I did. And I would – without hesitation – do it again.
Don’t let anyone control your life to the point where you’re in fear every day. If I can do it, so can you.
Match.com leaves your profile online even after you’ve gone through the deletion process. I know this because years ago I deleted my profile and received the “your profile is deleted, but will be on display until…” reply. I wasn’t happy about it. I wanted the profile down immediately. If it’s still on display, it’s not really deleted, is it?
Match not only didn’t remove my profile when I wanted it to, but it continued to slam me with notifications and emails. I was then forced to change my profile to reflect that I’m no longer willing to be in the dating game, especially on Match.com. “This profile has been deleted,” I wrote. “Please don’t contact me.” Yet I was still slammed with countless emails from guys who either didn’t read my profile, or thought I’d be a fun challenge. Either way, it only proved they were mentally unhealthy.
I had a brief discussion with my then-therapist about this.
“If they’re trying to contact me,” I began, “despite me explaining the situation and vividly expressing that I’m no longer interested in dating—isn’t it really just revealing their unwillingness to get involved with someone who is available?” I asked. Yes, the therapist agreed.
“So even if their profile seems solid,” I continued, “I should probably still not bother because they’re trying to get involved with an emotionally unavailable girl, yes?” Yes, the therapist agreed again.
Hot damn, I thought, Men are just like us. They want to get involved with unavailable women. They may not even realize it themselves, we concluded. It may all be on a subconscious level.
Good God, I thought. I sat back in shock for a minute, proud of myself for the revelation, humored that I could finally see the Matrix, but dismayed over the reality of it all. Logically speaking, the theory actually proves that men who fight for their women are actually mentally unhealthy.
Soak that in. How many of us have wanted our guy to fight for us in some manner or another? So in essence, do we want them to be mentally unhealthy?
My mind was spinning. I left the therapist’s office feeling defeated. I thought about the MarriedGuy who went back to his unstable wife, “fighting” to make his marriage work. Sad, I thought, but good riddance. I realized that if he was willing to take-back someone who was that unhealthy, he couldn’t possibly be healthy enough for me. And I realized as my own self-awareness and self-assurance grew, the dating pool shrank. Significantly.
I crossed New York City’s midtown streets on my way back to work, still thinking about how the dating pool was becoming nothing more than a dried-up puddle. The thought repeated in my mind. Unhealthy men like unavailable women.
In all honesty, women do the same thing. My friends and I clocked plenty of hours chasing unavailable men. So we can’t sit-back and say it’s just the men. It’s everyone. But that doesn’t mean I have to tolerate it.
Unstable men like unavailable women. The thought persisted. I started wondering if the level of unavailability in women mattered. What if a women just didn’t want to get involved because she wanted to live her life for a while? There should be a difference between busy women and women who blatantly say “hell no,” right?
My solution is to find out. I’ve been researching all the things that I’ve wanted to do over the years, but never had time for. While my original “1 Year of Single” has been over for a few years now, I still want to use my 1-year, yet this time it’ll be 1 Year of Rediscovery. 1 year of rediscovering myself and things I love to do. Have you ever spent a specific amount of time purposely rediscovering yourself? That’s what I’ll be doing. And I guarantee, it won’t include spending time on Match.com.
A few days ago my 11-year-old son told me I should think about getting a hobby. If I wasn’t so shocked, I would have LOL.
“Honey,” I said, “In the last few years, we’ve moved in with my boyfriend, I’ve broken up with myself*, then moved out from my boyfriend’s. I’ve had two major surgeries, you’ve moved schools twice, my job moved to anotherstate, then I changed jobs. I’m exhausted.” Then I added thoughtfully, “I’ve only just started to come out of the haze now.” My son did an “Oh… true…” nod and continued what he was doing with no further interest in the subject.
I’ve always rolled my eyes at blogs and broadcasts that were titled, “Where have I been?” It assumes that every person reading their headline has been dying to know what happened to that blogger and why they’ve been absent. I doubt anyone really cared. If the blogger was actually successful enough, the question of their absence would have been answered by the public long before the blogger realized it was even an issue.
And still – here I am, thinking I should write a “Where have I been?” blog. No one cares. I don’t even care enough about the last few years enough to write about them. Lol > But what I can tell you – or what I’d rather tell you – is what I’ve learned along the way. I’ve learned so much. And I want to tell you about my experiences. Both good and bad. What worked along the way, and what didn’t work.
I’m so happy to be back. Ironically, after all of the shenanigans of 2017, I’m so ecstatic that I can simply call it a “challenging” year. It was probably the most difficult year I’ve ever had, and yet I only want to call it “challenging.” Why? Probably because the previous 45 years before that were what helped me get through 2017.
Let me tell you about it.
Welcome to my not-so-new hobby: 1YearOfSingle.
*Oh, look at you searching for the meaning of that asterisk! Good for you! Well, you found it. I guess I should tell you what it means then? Well, back in 2017, I had to break up with myself because my bonehead boyfriend didn’t have the balls to do it himself. My 11-year-old son and I were feeling completely unwanted, living in the guy’s house, and all the Talks in the world weren’t helping the situation. To add to the pile, he was lying to his daughters about us. So I had to shoot myself in the foot and tell him that it wasn’t working out. As soon as I brought it up, he said something like, “Well now that we know what the problem is…” I wanted to say, “No, dipshit – now that I had the balls to tell you that I already knew what the problem was.” I was furious! The kicker was that my son and I had just moved into his home after donating most of my belongings, and he was out cheating on me and telling his daughters that we were the assholes. The thing that hurt the most is that he brought my son into it. Trash. Complete trash. It pains me that his daughters will never know the truth. And yet, maybe they’re better off.
Friday! ☀️🎉 For some of you, it’s Summer Friday. You slept in, grabbed your beach bag and left your laptops at home. For the rest of us, it’s better commute times and ample parking. Either way, your best bet for a good day is staying positive, and looking for the love in your day. List the positive things about YOUR day below! 👊🏼❤️👍🏻
Don’t stress the could haves. If it should have, it would have. / It kills me when people say, “But we were meant for each other” or “we were perfect for each other. That’s crap. If they were so perfect for each other, they’d still be together. I started training myself to concentrate on that aspect of the breakup, not what I thought “should have been.” What we think “should have been” is just what we really wanted. So jot it down on your “want” list, and move on.
One of the things I concentrate on after a breakup is myself. I like to reevaluate what I’m looking for in another decent human, and I can’t do that if I’m not happy with who I am both mentally and pysically. So I hop a train to Happyville by seeing a therapist (“Why was I wish him? He made me bat-shit crazy!”) and I start working out. Yeah, yeah, I should have been exercising while I was dating the guy, sure. But when you live two hours from your job, are raising a child on your own, coaching a sports team and freelancing, working-out tends to get pushed to a back burner. Or in my case: right off the stove.
But when I do workout… look out! I’m a rock star! I immediately feel like I can conquer the world, my career, my breakup and my insane schedule. And it’s what makes me jump on the scale and think…
I’m not against marriage. I’m against alcoholics destroying my life. So I left my husband. My mother had much too much influence over me in the past, convincing me to marry an unstable person. And I actually did it! Sadly, once I married him, I finally had her approval. But the price was enormous, so I eventually left him. You can bet your life I’ll make it my own decision next time. Thankfully she’s out of my life now, but I’ll never forget the disturbing lessons she taught me. Toxic people are ever worth keeping, even if they’re a parent.
Your relationship should be one where you feel liked and appreciated. Of course this is not a constant, and there are fluctuations in all things, but if your partnership depresses you or you’re constantly searching for affection, it’s probably not the relationship you should be in.